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September 29, 2020

33 top cueists to compete in NBP Ranking Snooker

Sports

September 29, 2020

KARACHI: There will be 33 top cueists of the country competing for the top honours in the 12th edition of the NBP Ranking Snooker Championship 2020 which gets under way here at the NBP Sports Complex in Clifton on Tuesday (today).

According to the details made available by the Tournament Director, Naved Kapadia, here on Monday, two of the originally selected cueists, Sohail Shahzad and Rambail Gul, dropped out at the eleventh hour due to different reasons but 33 submitted negative reports of COVID-19 tests, clearing them for the event.

The Karachi-based Sohail Shahzad, on Monday morning, informed the Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA) about his inability to participate in the tournament due to family and personal reasons and the draws were revised.

Later in the evening, the PBSA was informed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Billiards & Snooker Association that Rambail Gul wasn’t in a position to reach in time for the tournament due to non-availability of flight from Dubai and as such he will not be able to take part in the event.

The cueists will be returning to action for the first time in seven and a half months as it’s going to be the first ranking event after the Jubilee Insurance 45th National Snooker Championship 2020 which concluded with an epic final between Muhammad Asif and Shahid Aftab on February 12.

The International Billiards & Snooker Federation (IBSF) has called off all the events for the current year due to the COVID-19 pandemic but the PBSA has ventured to resume the national circuit.

The PBSA has said that the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) will be strictly followed during the course of the eight-day event in which spectators will not be allowed entry into the arena.

Only the participating cueists, referees and officials of the PBSA, and reporters will be able to proceed to the snooker hall which will be sanitised after every session. Top seeded Muhammad Asif of Punjab will be defending the title. All the other seeded cueists in the tournament, Shahid Aftab, Asjad Iqbal, Muhammad Ahsan Javaid, Babar Masih, Mubahsir Raza (Pjb), Muhammad Naseem Akhtar and Ali Haider, are also from Punjab.